Sichuan is one of China’s most attractive provinces, with strong historical ties to Buddhism and Taoism. Despite Mao Zedong’s ban on religion, Sichuan’s temples resurfaced in popularity soon after. The most beautiful temples in Sichuan province are listed here.
The Most Beautiful Temples in Sichuan Province
Wenshu Monastery (Wénshū yuàn, 文殊院)
The Wenshu Monastery, located in the heart of Chengdu and still home to 80 monks, is by far one of the best preserved temples in Chengdu. This temple, which was originally built during the Southern Dynasty, occupies a sprawling area of more than 60,000 square meters (about 65,000 feet), with five complexes of buildings and gardens and more than 180 chambers.
There are also over 300 Buddhas from various dynasties on display, as well as other valuable relics such as Buddha scriptures written in gold and a 300-year-old monk robe sewn by a royal concubine during the Ming Dynasty. The teahouse is, at the very least, a fantastic spot to sit and drink tea before heading to the vegetarian restaurant in the back.
Zhaojue Temple (Zhāo jué sì, 昭觉寺)
Zhaojue is a prominent Buddhist temple in China and an important venue for Buddhist practitioners, located near the Chengdu Zoo. This monastery, which has a 1,000-year history, has been home to a number of illustrious monks who went on to construct temples in Japan and Southeast Asia. Mr. Zhang Daqian, one of the most well-known and prolific Chinese artists of the twentieth century, used to live there. He devoted himself to the study of painting and produced a large number of well-known works while he was there. The temple grounds are magnificent and provide a pleasant relief from the city’s bustle.
Baoguang Temple (Bǎo guāng sì, 宝光寺)
This gorgeous Buddhist temple is made up of a stupa, five rooms, and sixteen courtyards and is located in the city’s far northern suburbs. Furthermore, it is surrounded by ancient trees and lush vegetation. This temple is frequently busy, with tourists lured to the tradition that if they worship at this temple, their wishes would be granted.
At fact, there is a large wall etched with the character for “Good Fortune” in the front plaza. The lengthy line of people in front of you is waiting to walk forward and touch the wall with their eyes closed in exchange for a year of good fortune. The rest of the temple is equally intriguing. Make a point of seeing the dangerous leaning pagoda that defies gravity.
Qingyang Palace（Qīngyáng gōng, 青羊宫)
This magnificent temple is both one of China’s largest and most flashy. It was constructed during the Zhou Dynasty (1040 BC) and later expanded during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), when Taoism was at its peak. The majority of the sections of the temple that have survived are Qing Dynasty reconstructions (1644-1911 AD). It was one of 21 Taoist temples authorized to reopen by the government during the Reform period in 1983.
Nuns and monks can be found training at the Two Immortals Monastery, which is located toward the back of the temple. It’s the only monastery in southwest China that can validate Taoist instruction, initiations, and lineage transmission. After exploring the gardens, stop into the Eight Trigrams Pavilion, which features a beautiful dome. Then, on the left, go to the modest teahouse to socialize with the local tourists and worshipers.
Mount Qingcheng (Qīngchéng shān, 青城山）
A 45-minute train ride from Chengdu’s city center will transport you to the foot of Mount Qingcheng, one of China’s four ancient birthplaces of Taoism. Its reputation stems from Taoist mythology as well as the beauty of its 36 summits. Zhao Daoling, the creator of Taoism, believed that Mount Qingcheng’s tranquil natural beauty was the ideal setting for Taoism’s growth and prosperity.
Many temples were built on the peak during the Jin and Tang dynasties. In the seventeenth century, it became an important intellectual and spiritual center for Taoism.
The mountain is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with more than a dozen Taoist temples constructed into the mountain’s face (the back part of the mountain is better for natural scenery). The Erwang Temple, Fulong Temple, and Changdao Temple are among the temples created to showcase Western Sichuan’s traditional architecture.
Mount Heming (Hè míng shān, 鹤鸣山)
Mount Heming is one of the most beautiful temples in Sichuan province. It is located about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Chengdu. Zhao Daoling created the “Way of the Celestial Masters” sect of Taoism here in 142 AD, and the mountain is usually regarded as the birthplace of Taoism. This is when Laozi is claimed to have descended and given Daoling the task of forging a new Taoist covenant between the people and the true gods. At its peak, the movement ruled Sichuan as a theocratic state.